After the August training camp in New Zealand, the team had three weeks back in Canmore. A couple of recovery weeks, followed by a week of building in preparation for the team’s next training camp. On Sunday the team traveled down south to Phoenix, Arizona, then onto Flagstaff. Here we will have a two week altitude camp focusing on volume and technique on roller skis (for the standing athletes) or mountain boards (for the sit-skiers). The full Para-Nordic World Cup team; Brian, Erik, Chris, Colette and myself, along with Graham will be in Arizona. The team will be joined by two development skiers Brittany and Stephanie.
This will be the second time the team has traveled to the Grand Canyon State for an altitude camp. It offers some great roller skiing roads and the traffic is very friendly giving us lots of room as we go down the roads. As we explore the area we continue to find new areas to roller ski or add to the existing ones we’ve been on. Finding hard packed dirt was a tougher task in the last camp but by the end the sit-skiers had found some dirt roads great for training. The Flagstaff area offers some great trails for running or hiking, getting quite high. On one such peak we can get up as high as 3’852m, this would be Humphreys Peak (pictured above), the highest point in Arizona. Between the town of Flagstaff and the peak of Humphreys’ there is a variety of places to train, running or riding on some spectacular trails or roller skiing on smooth pavement through a quiet subdivision.
Monday was our first day training in Flagstaff and it was wet! We were soaked before we left the parking lot, having to cross a huge puddle just to get onto the road. Don’t worry within a couple of minutes there was not a dry piece of clothing to be found on any of us. As we splashed our way down the roads the passing cars were incredibly friendly, honking and yelling out their windows “way to go!” That was a great way to start a long and wet work out. We are here to train at altitude and that was what we did. We put in a solid volume day to kick start the training camp.

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